Eyes On The Skies

“What I really need,” I expounded at the dining table, “is some flexible plastic tubing that I can use to make super-long straws so you can lay flat on your back and still take a drink.”

“That is so lazy!’ came a reprimand from the next room. Eldest daughter Amber had caught a snippet of my conversation with youngest daughter Melinda. Taken out of context, my statement sounded like one more slide on my slippery slope toward morbid obesity. “That’s terrible!”

“No, no,” I protested, “you don’t understand.”

Neither did the grinning woman who stood behind me in line at the hardware store as I purchased several feet of 3/8″ diameter clear plastic tubing that afternoon. The coiled mass apparently reminded her of some bygone revelry, and a knowing smirk spread across her weathered features. “You gonna drink some beer with that?” she drawled.

A point to her for deducing that the tubing was destined to be used as flexible straws, but otherwise incorrect. Nor was my innovation designed for the sole purpose of minimizing physical activity, as Amber feared. In fact, I was looking for a way in which Melinda and I could maximize our observation of meteors during last weekend’s peak of the Perseid shower. We knew from experience that merely sitting up to take a drink can mean a missed meteor. All of our preparations for comfort and sustenance would be arranged so that we could keep our eyes on the sky for hours without interruption. Read More

Something (Fried) For Everybody

DevoColumbus1

The Brothers Mothersbaugh whip it good at the Ohio State Fair.

“How many people believe de-evolution is real?” called out DEVO bassist Jerry Casale during a lively performance at the Ohio State Fair on Wednesday.  Perhaps no other venue is better suited for procuring anecdotal evidence for the band’s philosophy, as the fair was populated by a typical assortment of Ohioans representing a wide swath of the evolutionary scale.  There to indulge their worst dietary habits were a number of vendors offering the signature fair food, which is anything that has been deep-fried.  Beyond the traditional elephant ears, funnel cakes and french fries wafted the aroma of deep-fried candy bars, Twinkies, Oreos, Pop Tarts, peanut butter buckeyes and even garlic mashed potatoes.  “If you fry it, they will come” seems to be the mantra of our state fair, and that may be as damning a tidbit of evidence for de-evolution as any.

How fitting, though, that amongst the fetid stalls of prize-winning livestock and numerous exhibits featuring the best of Ohio’s diverse products should be a showcase for the Akron band that was not only ahead of its time but ahead of its place as well.  Promoting their recent release, Something For Everybody, DEVO is enjoying a resurgence in popularity and long-overdue recognition for a unique and enduring artistic statement.  They gave their home state an entertaining set that demonstrated the compelling mix that they have offered throughout their career:  incisive social satire and infectious songs delivered with great technical skill and an irresistible sense of humor. Read More

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